What I’ve learned about Compassionate Caring and Love


What I’ve learned about Compassionate Caring and Love

By: Liz Stern

Global Legacy Leader & Coach


How do you know when someone really cares for you?

Someone who cares about you will ask you how you are, how your day is. They want to know what you’re doing; they want to know if something significant has happened in your life. You don’t have to talk to them all the time, or see them often but when you do, they want to know how you are. Not out of obligation, but because they genuinely want to know how you are and you will feel their caring. Someone who cares about you will share their life with you. They’ll tell you about the crazy thing that happened or a funny story. Some share a lot, others just a little, but they always share what’s important to them. They will listen to you. They want to hear your perspective and opinions and share theirs with you. They will hear you. Someone who cares about you wants to see you. They like spending time with you and will take time for you and you can see the pleasure on their face when they are with you. I believe most people want to share love and caring with others and yet they don’t know how to because they haven’t felt loved themselves.

After years of experiencing, reflecting and sharing on the power of Legacy in my own life, I have become committed to helping others reflect on their lives to create their own Legacy. Recently I was sharing about my work on Legacy, specifically about a couple of critical words, “Fear and Compassion.” I asked what do the words “Fear and Compassion” mean to you? The response: "I fear no one wants me." My reaction was disbelief. What do you mean, I asked? The response; “I am no longer my youthful self, I have a temporary disability and I fear being a burden.”

1. It’s all about your actions

It's not about the words, it's about your actions. The fear of not being wanted is tied very intricately to what it means to feel loved and cared for. Words are still important because you can solidify the feelings of love or not-love, whether or not you realize it, but your actions, of doing or not doing what you said you would do, really reinforce whether or not you are care. You could say, "Oh, I love you, Sarah. I really do." And the next moment  when Sarah says "I really need to share with you," turn around and say, "You know what? Let's do it later. I'm busy," or whatever it might be.  At that moment, not being willing to be present for the person says a lot about whether or not you care for that person. So, your actions cement the fear of not being wanted. Key into your connection and actions with those you love, and ensure they are in alignment.

2. True compassion is limitless

When someone is challenged by age and health issues, it’s not an uncommon fear. But stretch that a bit further; What happens if they’re injured or become seriously ill. What if they are in pain physically and emotionally? What then? I've learned that the realities of caring for someone as they transition through their life requires that you reflect about who you are, how you live and how you want to live with them in your life. The connection that you have with that person becomes very important and reflects your compassion and love for them. Ask yourself, at what level are you willing to participate, in order to help them continue to have a vibrant life, and know that they are loved and cared for? Take a moment to reflect and consider how critical being loved and cared for is for you.   

3. Clarity of Experience

What would you want to experience yourself? Was there a moment you needed help and someone wasn't there for you? Or maybe someone was there to help you, what made the difference? Instead of contributing, did someone end up doing more harm? Caring is fluid and changes as we do, compassion is limitless.

By practicing compassionate caring and love, we realize two truths: 1. In order to cultivate compassion, we need to be attentive and mindful; 2. When our mind drifts, we are not able to focus or connect with those we care about, and miss the opportunity to cultivate love and compassion. Visualize releasing any fear and feel the compassion in you. That experience is part of your Legacy, so share it with others. It is a gift.  


About Liz Stern

Liz Stern is a Global Legacy Leader & Coach, Business Coach, Philanthropic Advisor, Keynote Speaker and founder of Global Giving Advisors a legacy development and philanthropic consulting firm. She has traveled to over 90 countries and applies all that she has learned to her work with clients. Since 2007, Liz has assisted individuals, families, foundations and corporations to define their Legacy and live even more fulfilling lives. Her clients have invested and contributed over $95 million dollars to address economic, social and humanitarian challenges and drive social impact and global change.

ArticlesLiz Stern